Graduates of inaugural Atlantic City Electric program spark chance for new careers
Atlantic City celebrated the first set of graduates from an inaugural program that offers job training for electrical work.
Instead, 26 residents graduated Thursday.
“They will be well on their way to a life-changing career and a life-changing salary,” Mayor Marty Small told those gathered at Stockton University’s Atlantic City Academic Center.
“It’s all about opportunity,” he told the graduates. “We provided it, and you took advantage of it.”
Small and others went to Washington, D.C., last year to look at the program there, and “we were just blown away,” he said.
“We’re extremely committed to the Atlantic City area,” Tyler Anthony, chief executive officer of Atlantic City Electric’s parent company, Pepco Holdings, said during last year’s announcement.
“I am extremely proud of this first cohort,” Anthony said at the graduation. “They are blazing a trail for the graduating classes for years to come.”
The program gives each graduate a job opportunity either with Atlantic City Electric or one of their contractors.
“I was looking for a change of direction in my life,” said graduate Lamont Carson. “When I heard about this program, I thought this would be a great opportunity for myself. One thing I’ve learned that I can point out is always challenge yourself because if you don’t, you’re cheating yourself.”
The Atlantic City Infrastructure Program builds on a broader six-year, $6.5 million South Jersey Workforce Development Program that Atlantic City Electric launched in 2018 in partnership with seven South Jersey Community Colleges and Workforce Development Boards.
“Today we’re not only celebrating a graduation, we’re celebrating the beginning of many exciting new careers,” said Dr. Zenon Christodoulou, commissioner of New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. “We are building a clean energy economy from the ground up. The state is taking advantage of our prime coastal location and leading by example to a future where clean energy is just called energy.”
Participants in the Atlantic City Infrastructure Program began the 14-week program on November 1,attending sessions two days per week for three hours each.
Training took place at the Carnegie Library Center in Atlantic City and at the Atlantic City Electric utility training yard located at the Anthony “Tony” Canale Training Center in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. Program education was provided by Atlantic Cape Community College in partnership with the Atlantic County Workforce Development Board. The program will continue to take place twice a year.
“The ACIP graduating class will be the inspiration for other Atlantic City residents to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the utility industry,” said Fran Kuhn, executive director of the Atlantic County Workforce Development Board. “The Workforce Development Board is proud to partner with Atlantic City Electric and Atlantic City to create a new training environment that develops the necessary skills to be a productive member of the energy workforce. This program has allowed individuals to recognize their full potential, realize their dreams are achievable and look forward to future accomplishments.”
In addition to these results-focused workforce development programs, Atlantic City Electric has several initiatives that are helping to open doors to new career opportunities for residents and students across South Jersey:
- The company recently joined Jingoli Power to provide jobs to 16 Atlantic City young adults as part of its Atlantic City/Brigantine Community Reliability Project.
- The company’s High School Energy Career Academy is a four-year program focused on preparing students in grades 9 through 12, for entering post-secondary education or moving directly to employment in the energy field.
- Its Spark Internship Program provides an eight-week summer paid work experience and work-readiness education for rising South Jersey high school juniors and seniors with an interest in engineering, IT, technical services, trades, environmental studies and other energy industry relevant subject areas.
- The Exelon STEM Academy is a free, six-day summer program by Atlantic City Electric’s parent company, where junior and senior high school girls take part in activities crafted to support their understanding of STEM career options and college programs that can help them gain access and achieve success in a number of energy related positions.
- Through the company’s Community Scholars Program, South Jersey students have the opportunity to receive support of up to $5,000 to pursue degrees in various disciplines, including STEM and business-related fields.
Residents of Atlantic City interested in participating in the next Atlantic City Infrastructure Program cohort can contact Rachele Dorsey at Rachele.Dorsey@exeloncorp.com.